Accor to launch Orient Express ship, the world's largest luxury sailing vessel

Taking to the water in 2026, the Orient Express Silenseas comes more than 140 years after the renowned train made its debut journey

Accor's new Orient Express Silenseas will be the world's largest sailing ship when it makes its debut in 2026. Photo: Accor
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Accor will make its first foray into the world of luxury cruising with the debut of the world’s largest sailing ship.

More than 140 years after the original Orient Express luxury train first took to the rails, Europe's largest hospitality group will debut the Orient Express Silenseas.

Inspired by the legacy of the world’s most glamorous train journey and celebrating the art of travel, the ship will set sail in 2026.

With 54 luxury suites and spanning 220 metres, Orient Express Silenseas will evoke memories of a golden age of travel. Photo: Accor

Spanning about 220 metres, it is being designed by architect Maxime d'Angeac, who is also responsible for Accor's recent redesign of its legendary train. Using French craftsmanship, the design is geared to evoke memories of the golden age of mythical cruising.

The vessel will have 54 suites, each spanning 70 square metres and its crowning jewel will be a 1,415 square metre presidential suite with uninterrupted ocean views.

Passengers will be able to enjoy two swimming pools, a speakeasy bar and a choice of two upscale restaurants.

Orient Express Silenseas will also host a programme of culture, music and art. An amphitheatre cabaret will host special performances, and there is also a private recording studio on board.

Spa treatments and mediation sessions offer time to unwind and to disconnect from the outside world while surrounded by the ocean. Stopover explorations at ports give guests the chance to step ashore to discover cultural treasures.

Reimagined interiors on the Orient Express champion French craftmanship. Photo: Accor

“With Orient Express Silenseas, we are beginning a new chapter in our history, taking the experience and excellence of luxury travel and transposing it onto the world’s most beautiful seas,” said Sebastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive at Accor.

“It is a boat designed to make dreams a reality, a showcase for the best of French savoir-faire.”

Orient Express Silenseas is a partnership between Accor and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a leading shipbuilding company.

As well as having spectacular interiors, the ship will run with hybrid propulsion sailing technology, combining wind power and an engine fuelled by liquefied natural gas. There are also plans to replace this with green hydrogen as soon as the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships, in an effort to help usher in a new era of sustainable sailing.

Accor acquired the Orient Express group in 2018, and soon after launched the first redesign for the world's most famous train in more than 100 years.

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Updated: January 13, 2023, 9:10 AM